Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 224

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 224

Dan and Alan try to figure out which shows have unequivocal best episodes ever


It's Firewall & Iceberg time, with some more light-hearted "How I Met Your Mother" finale discussion (after some vitriol in yesterday's F&I video show), sandwiched in between some AMC talk, with a review of the disappointing "Turn" and some discussion of "The Walking Dead" season finale. Lots of good emails this week, in fact, so keep the questions coming!

The rundown: 

"Turn" (00:01:20 - 00:11:30)
Listener Mail: "Dexter" vs "HIMYM" (00:11:50 - 00:14:40)
Listener Mail: Uncontested Best Episodes (00:14:55 - 00:27:45)
Listener Mail: Death of Reruns (00:27:45 - 00:36:10)
Listener Mail: Death of Television Without Pity (00:36:10 - 00:40:30)
Listener Mail: "HIMYM" Ratings Rise/Quality Drop (00:40:30 - 00:45:55)
The "Walking Dead" Finale (00:46:00 - 01:00:30)
As always, send questions to You can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file, subscribe on IHeartRadio or stream it on Dan's blog.

There's also now a complete archive of all the podcasts to date.

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<p>&quot;How I Met Your Mother&quot; creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas on set for the filming of the show&#39;s title-fulfilling scene.</p>

"How I Met Your Mother" creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas on set for the filming of the show's title-fulfilling scene.

Credit: CBS

The 'How I Met Your Mother' finale, revisited

Restating a few arguments about the sitcom's controversial ending

So based on the number of comments and the social media stats, I'm guessing that most of you who care about the "How I Met Your Mother" finale have read my review of it from Monday night. That was, like a lot of episode reviews I do, written in a burst immediately after the show, and though my feelings haven't changed about the ending, there are a few points I feel I can better articulate with a few days' distance than I could at the time. So that's coming up, along with a fan-made alternate ending that's been floating around the interwebs since Monday, coming up just as soon as I've got three castle guys and a moat guy...

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<p>Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth in &quot;Game of Thrones.&quot;</p>

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth in "Game of Thrones."

Credit: HBO

'Game of Thrones' star Gwendoline Christie on Brienne's journey

On fighting with bears, bathing with Jaime and being the best swordswoman in Westeros

There are certain characters on “Game of Thrones” who could probably have been played equally well by a few dozen actors across the UK and Europe. Then there are the ones who, because of certain traits given to them by author George R.R. Martin, needed a very specific combination of talent and physical appearance. Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister is obviously one of those, and Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth is another. At an imposing 6’4”(*) with icy blonde hair and large blue eyes, Christie makes an impression, and is absolutely convincing as the stoic warrior who keeps beating up all the men who underestimate her.

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<p>On &quot;Justified,&quot; Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and Boyd (Walton Goggins) go at it.</p>

On "Justified," Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and Boyd (Walton Goggins) go at it.

Credit: FX

Review: 'Justified' - 'Starvation'

Raylan goes after Boyd to get to Daryl, and Boyd responds poorly

A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I go with the "I was kidding!" defense...

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<p>Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti in the best moment of the &quot;How I Met Your Mother&quot; finale.</p>

Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti in the best moment of the "How I Met Your Mother" finale.

Credit: CBS

Firewall & Iceberg Show, episode 10: 'How I Met Your Mother,' 'Veep' & more

Dan and Alan also review 'Silicon Valley' and 'The Mindy Project'

It's a mixed set of emotions on this week's Firewall & Iceberg video show. On the one hand, Dan and I have lots of positive things to say about HBO's "Veep" and "Silicon Valley," and mostly positive things to say about "The Mindy Project." On the other, we also spent about half the show discussion the "How I Met Your Mother" finale, and you already know where I stand on that.

We'll be back tomorrow with a podcast to discuss "Turn," "The Walking Dead" finale and more, including more mail and possibly more "HIMYM" talk.

One thing to note: in the "Silicon Valley" segment, Dan and I neglected to mention that castmember Christopher Evan Welch died unexpectedly in December. His performance is perhaps the best thing about a show that has a lot of excellent things; if HBO renews it (and I hope they will), it's a big loss.

The rundown:

0:00- 5:55- Mindy Project
5:55- 10:48- Veep
10:48- 27:30- HIMYM finale
27:30- 33:30- Silicon Valle

As always, you can send us questions at There's also now a YouTube channel where you can subscribe to all upcoming Firewall & Iceberg videos, at

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<p>Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy in <em>slightly </em>better days on &quot;Game of Thrones.&quot;</p>

Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy in slightly better days on "Game of Thrones."

Credit: HBO

'Game of Thrones' star Alfie Allen on Theon's torture

What was it like spending most of season 3 strapped down and abused?

Alfie Allen has had a whiplash-inducing experience on “Game of Thrones.” As Theon Greyjoy, boy hostage of the Stark family, he was a relatively minor player in the first season. Then in the second, he had one of the most prominent, clear and interesting character arcs, as Theon betrayed the Starks to get back in the good graces of his cruel father, only to overreach (and murder innocent children) in his attempts to impress dear papa. And he spent virtually all of the third season strapped to a large X-shaped cross, suffering physical and psychological torture at the hands of the sadistic Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon), who ultimately mutilated Theon and redubbed him Reek.

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<p>Mindy Kaling in &quot;The Mindy Project&quot; and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in &quot;Veep.&quot;</p>

Mindy Kaling in "The Mindy Project" and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in "Veep."

Credit: FOX/HBO

Review: 'The Mindy Project' & 'Veep' return stronger than ever

Various tweaks have enhanced both the FOX comedy and the HBO one

Television shows are evolving organisms, which is one of the most exciting things about them, but also one of the scariest. Mediocre pilots can one day lead to great series, and vice versa. Brilliant shows can abruptly fall off a cliff, and mediocrities can stun you with leaps forward. Characters can die, settings can be abandoned, and even genres aren't sacrosanct. You just never know.

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<p>Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti in the &quot;How I Met Your Mother&quot; series finale.</p>

Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti in the "How I Met Your Mother" series finale.

Credit: CBS

Series finale review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Last Forever'

The series concludes with a variety of awful decisions that were likely hatched years ago

Well, here we are at the series finale of "How I Met Your Mother," and I have a review of everything that went down, coming up just as soon as I post the Boner Joke of the Day...

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<p>Jack Gleeson as Joffrey in &quot;Game of Thrones.&quot;</p>

Jack Gleeson as Joffrey in "Game of Thrones."

Credit: HBO

'Game of Thrones' producers Benioff & Weiss on approaching 'the halfway point'

At this stage, how do they balance the show's many characters and stories?

The job of running any of today’s ambitious cable drama series is hard, but “Game of Thrones” bosses David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s jobs come with an added degree of difficulty, because they’re adapting a series of beloved, enormous books by George R.R. Martin. So they have to mostly stay faithful to Martin’s stories, and that means incorporating dozens of significant characters, and almost that many separate plots that take place across two different continents, with characters sometimes spending whole seasons just traveling from one location to another. And because of the production logistics involved in filming the HBO drama in multiple countries, Benioff and Weiss say they can realistically only make 10 episodes a season. So even if they’re taking two seasons to cover a particular book — as they are with the third book, “A Storm of Swords,” which will span the third and upcoming fourth season of the show — they have to be very judicious in how much time any one story gets in an episode, or a season.

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<p>Andrew Lincoln as Rick in &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Andrew Lincoln as Rick in "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

Season finale review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'A'

After a bloody encounter, Rick finally makes it to Terminus

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" season finale coming up just as soon as my hunger is a 28 on a scale of 1 to 10...

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